From a simple digital wallet to an e-commerce payment giant, Paytm has covered a long distance in terms of growth. Now, the payment giant is on the way to start India’s largest public offerings of $3 billion in the last quarter of 2021. According to a news wire Bloomberg report, Paytm is targeting a valuation of $25 billion to $30 billion from the IPO, possibly launching in November.
Paytm grew exponentially due to the popularity among the masses by its easy-to-use payment systems. Starting from a branded outlet to a normal vegetable seller on the street, you will find Paytm payment mode available everywhere.
On the other hand, Paytm got the support of global investors including Softbank, Alibaba, etc. Due to that, Paytm became the most valuable startup in the Indian startup ecosystem. The startup invested the raised capital wisely in strengthening its operations and acquiring the growing startups to grow rapidly.
The Details of 11 Firms Acquired by Paytm
Here is the list of 11 firms that have been strategically acquired by Paytm to establish itself as the leader in the online payment sector:
This was the first acquisition by Paytm after a funding commitment of $680 million from Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial.
Near.in was a hyper-local service platform to find local service providers like plumbers, makeup artists, etc in the locality. The platform was one of the unique online to offline (O2O) spaces of 2015 for helping its users. As per the reports, Paytm acquired Near.in in $2 million approximately. It was a strategic move by Paytm to enter in local commerce sector that has huge potential to grow.
In 2016, Paytm bought Edukart, an edtech startup backed by flamboyant cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma The payment giant acquired the firm with an undisclosed amount.
The main objective behind this acquisition was to hire the 50+ skilled staff of Edukart. Ishan Gupta, founder, and chief executive of Earth Education Valley Pvt. Ltd joined the Paytm financing team.
Talking about this acquisition, one internal person said:
“While the team has been absorbed into Paytm, investors are also looking for a buyer for Edukart’s business. Finding a buyer is difficult in the current scenario, where very few edutech start-ups barring the likes of Simplilearn or Byju’s have managed to scale up.”
In 2016, Paytm was looking to advance its technological infrastructure. To do so, the company acquired Shifu, an Artificial Intelligence(AI) based personal assistant app for mobile. The deal was closed with a hefty amount of $8 million. After the acquisition, Shifu completely shut down its operations and its team of 20+ members joined Paytm’s different departments.
For further strengthening its operations in the O2O sector, Paytm acquired Shopsity with an undisclosed amount. Shopsity is an anti-eCommerce platform that helps offline retailers with different tools and services to attract and retain more customers. The startup will help Paytm to strengthen its operations in the offline retailing sector.
Talking about the acquisition, Danish Ahmed, co-founder of Shopsity said:
“Paytm is doing phenomenal stuff in the offline commerce space, and we are very excited to join the team and build a platform that enables small retailers to ride the digital wave.”
Paytm also acknowledged the extraordinary work done by Shopsity up to now. Talking about the same, Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer at Paytm, said:
“Shopsity has done a great job at providing innovative solutions to small offline retailers. By integrating their technology with our advanced seller services, we will be able to offer additional solutions to our fast-growing family of small offline merchants. I am confident that this acquisition will offer further momentum to our online-to-offline commerce segment.”
5 & 6. Little and Nearbuy
Paytm bought Nearbuy and Little to establish its operations in local restaurants area. Both apps are based on local retailers’ business. These acquisitions were also a strategic move by Paytm to start commercial operations. Paytm paid $30 million to close this deal.
Talking about this deal, Paytm CEO and founder Sharma said:
“This combination of Nearbuy and Little marks a great opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to support small and large retailers in the new age of mobile commerce and payments. I am sure consumers will love the greater selection and reach of everyday deals and discount offers.”
Paytm has acquired a majority stake in Insider.in, events ticketing venture. In 2017, the online payment firm closed this deal with an amount of $5.42 million. With the help of the current deal, Paytm wants to compete against another ticketing platform including BookMyShow.
8 & 9. NightStay and Ticketnew
To start its offerings in hotel booking, Paytm acquired NightStay with a whopping amount of $20 million, as per the Times of India report. Nasr Khan, the founder, and CEO of NightStay will join the Paytm team and will also lead the hotel booking sector of Paytm. In 2018, this is one of the best decisions taken by Paytm when Indian consumers are exploring online booking options due to the availability of the Internet.
NightStay, founded in 2014, mainly deals in luxury and boutique hotels. It provides a booking service through its mobile app.
How current acquisition will help Paytm? Answering this question, Madhur Deora, chief financial officer at Paytm said:
“The launch of domestic hotel bookings is an important step forward as it helps travelers around the country conveniently plan and book their perfect trip on Paytm. We want to offer the broadest travel selection on our platform, and look forward to continuing our expansion with the help of our trusted travel partners.”
In 2018, Paytm also acquired Chennai-based ticketing platform Ticketnew for a whopping $40 million deal.
Paytm started its Paytm travel services in 2014. And it became an instant hit with over 60 million tickets sale. NightStay and Ticketnew will further strengthen Paytm Travel and will help it to lead the travel booking sector.
On August 9, 2018, Paytm announced that it has acquired Balance Technology, a savings management firm based in Bengaluru.
Talking about Balance’s major operations, Balance Technology CEO and co-founder, Ankit Kumar, said:
“Our team has been building automated products that make the saving experience relatable and delightful by helping users reach their goals in clever little ways.”
The six members Balance team will join Paytm and will strengthen Paytm operations further.
Talking about this acquisition, Madhur Deora, chief financial officer at Paytm said:
“We are excited to welcome the Balance Technology team to Paytm. They have created a fantastic product with real user engagement. As we look to create customized and intuitive user experiences, the Balance Technology team will be an invaluable part of this journey,”
Though Paytm did not reveal the deal amount as per the reports, Paytm paid $2 million to acquire Balance Technology.
Founded in 2012, Cube26 grabbed headlines when it received Rs 50 crore seed funding from Tiger Global and Flipkart. In 2015-16, the company had 140+ employees. But due to no business, the team was reduced to 10 staff.
Cube26 is used to provide a user interface(UI) and user experience(UX) services to its clients. It closely worked with short video space firms. The startup also initiated the Internet of Things(IoT) but failed.
Finally, Paytm acquired the firm in 2018 with an undisclosed amount to make its mobile app’s UI/UX experience better for the users.
With its unique offerings and better customer experience, Paytm has created a niche for itself in the competitive online e-commerce environment. Now, Paytm is not limited only to online payment systems. It also deals in insurance, buying-selling products, online booking, etc.
Will it get successful? How it will affect the Indian startup ecosystem? Keep visiting NBB to know the answers to these much-awaited questions. We will update you as soon as we get the right information.